Insect encounters close to home

From an urban park to a remote hillside, insects offer a fascinating insight into local wildlife habitats. Scope supporter Ellie May Forrester shares her tips on accessible insect encounters close to home.

8th February 2017
ladybird

A lot of people wince when I tell them I love insects but I find them fascinating. Invertebrates are also animals but unlike vertebrates, they don’t have a backbone, and are a vital part of our ecosystem. According to the conservation charity Buglife, in the UK we have more than 40,000 species of insect, such as bees, beetles, flies, wasps, grasshoppers and butterflies.

One of the most amazing things about insects is that they can be found in a variety of habitats. A recent find was an array of different types of ladybird larvae on the wall outside my house, which is opposite a busy road.

As a disabled wildlife enthusiast, I enjoy the accessibility of insect encounters. I regularly visit my local council run reserve, which is ideal as I do not drive and need accessible paths. I firmly believe everyone can go outside and enjoy nature, whether it is in a local park or in your back garden.

Over the last four years I have acquired knowledge about the different plants and environments best for spotting insects. Here are my top tips for accessible wildlife encounters:

 

Bees

Bumblebee
A bumblebee on lavender/Credit: getty
  • The planting of perennials such as foxglove and lavender and herbs such as thyme is a great way to attract bees to your garden.

 

Butterflies

Three orange tortoiseshell butterflies on a buddleia plant.
Three orange tortoiseshell butterflies on a buddleia plant/Credit: Getty
  • Seen in the spring and summer months and early autumn, one of the best ways to see butterflies is by planting a buddleia bush, also known as a butterfly bush, as it will attract many common species.  See our guide to build your own bug hotel here

 

Beetles 

  • Beetles can be found under logs and rotting wood, as it where their larvae feeds. You could always look under these on your local walks or if you have some in your garden.  

 

Bug Hotel 

  • Another great way to attract insect life to a garden is by building a bug hotel.  With any luck, you can attract lacewings and solitary bees and ladybird

 

Ellie is a Scope For Change Campaigner. The unique programme is run by the disability charity Scope to train a new generation of young disabled campaigners

 

Main image: Getty

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